I recently had the opportunity to interview Brett Stevens of Amerika.org (and many more outlets). I sent him a few questions and, when he returned the interview, I was as usual fascinated with his responses. As when we have discussions, not everything he says I agree with, including in this interview, yet I always find his insights interesting and deeply thought through. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as he and myself.
Brett, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Thank you for sending it to me. I have read your blogs for years now and have appreciated the insights you have bestowed upon us, as well as the competent and yet not cynical music. I hope you keep it up for many years to come.
Let’s talk about metal. I grew up in a Fundamentalist Christian environment. Nearly every other week, the Christian school that I attended featured a video on the evils of rock and roll. Where I agreed (and still do) with them was that the inherent praise of casual sex and drug use was/is clearly damaging. What I never agreed with them on was that neither metal nor hard rock was precisely what they saw it as. Rather than any sort of invitation or, worse, invocation into any sort of Satanic nonsense, the lyrical content of the majority of the metal bands, to my ears, spurred warnings against truly Luciferian ideas such as conformity, globalism, the folly of trusting elected officials, et al. The true danger, to me, were always the soft pop artists, selling sex, drug us, and softened Paganism like weed. Digestible for the general public, bubble-gum programming at its finest. Having been on the forefront of the underground metal scene for decades, going all the way back to BBS, what are your thoughts here?
As usual, appearance differs from reality. In appearance, the conservatives are standing against decay by insisting that we all become good citizens of this robotic civilization. They want us to go get jobs, pay taxes, obey all the rules, and give way anytime someone from a less “privileged” environment wants something. This is why conservatives have failed. They are defending what is in reality quite evil, but in appearance is good. The reason they cannot separate the two is found in the ego; they like the appearance of good because it serves their own interests before those of the group, and so they make a good show of being “good” when in fact they are advocating intermediate steps to “evil.”
Metal is a rebellion against illusions and an inversion of the dichotomy between appearance and reality. It asserts reality in ways that appear terrifying, but are in fact more sane and pleasurable than what those in thrall to the false appearance can offer. Metal finds beauty in noise, darkness, death, evil and the apocalypse, and in doing so, reveals the lies at the heart of our society. Democracy is not good; it is a path to death. Socialism leads to bankruptcy. Being nice to people means that bad people get ahead while good people stick around to clean up. Being a good conservative means that you become a support structure for a dying civilization just so that you can claim you are doing the right thing.
They objected to heavy metal on the basis of its perceived extremes – drugs, sex and violence – but what they really objected to was the rebellion against the perceived intellectual authority of the people in power. Metal did not say to fight them literally, it said not to take them seriously, because they are appearance merchants and complacency shills and little else. This prompted a counter-attack. Metal has its extremes, but as you note, they are less dangerous than those in pop music, because for metal this hedonism is not at its core; these behaviors are incidental because metalheads tend to be partiers. For pop music, bohemianism is its message because it is a safe form of individualism that does not threaten the power structure of democracy and also keeps the proles busy when not at work.
Metal instead stood for a radical idea: realism, in the context of history. This meant that we were comparing ourselves not to last year, but to last millennia, and one five thousand years ago… under this high standard, our modern society appears as bankrupt, pointless and selfish as it is. This is an unforgivable sin according to those who want to be the powers that be.
If you want to know how metal thinks, look at the name of the first proto-metal band: Black Sabbath. Heavy metal inverts the rotten order of our society which is already inverted, and by doing so returns us to sanity by delivering us from any kind of trust in the corrupt institutions that make up our postmortem civilization.
To my mind, metal has never been licentious. It assigns physical pleasures to their place and redirects our attention toward goals which would have been comprehensible at the time of The Odyssey, but are now viewed with suspicion. Through its mythological and historical view, metal redirects us from The Now toward the eternal.
This puts metal in opposition to modernity. Modernity is based in individualism and, as a result, what is happening within the group at the present moment. The “heaviness” of metal demands we step outside the present, relax and contemplate the eternal.
In this way, it is both anti-modern and perennial music. It bonds us to reality instead of isolating us in worlds of our own composed of ego-drama. This is unacceptable to the powers that be, so they slander it with whatever is convenient, usually the accusation that it corrupts the youth – much as was used against Socrates.
Do the metal artists that informed your thinking decades ago still do so, and in what way?
My early thinking was informed by the forest, and then I spent a great deal of time with the classics, and after that, bands like Slayer and Hellhammer fit into what I had learned from classical literature and philosophy. Metal is a heavily Romantic movement, but like Romanticism, it is divided between the individualism of The Enlightenment™ and the realistic recognition that ancient Greece and Rome were great civilizations while our present one is in a holding pattern, subsidizing itself with the greatness of the past but unable to achieve any greatness on its own. In this way, metal fits right into the nexus of authors like William Burroughs, Friedrich Nietzsche, Aldous Huxley, William Gibson and Thomas Pynchon who write about the collapse of social order as a final culmination to this lack of direction in the West. In this way, metal still informs my thinking, because there is a continuity of thought.
Currently I still listen to a fair amount of metal, punk and synthpop music. This is interspersed with the majority of my listening, which is the cluster of genres generally called “classical music,” with focus on Baroque and Modernist types. The classics are still relevant because they are first and foremost powerful music, and they derive this power from being true to some aspect of the world around us, like any other great art. Most of the art around us is not true to the world at all, but reflects desires of the ego, and all pop music fits into this; that sort of listening is extremely transient for me and I am happy to escape the presence of such music. As the artist behind Merzbow, a collaborator of K.K. Null, once said, “If by noise you mean uncomfortable sound, then pop music is noise to me.” So the old classics from many genres join the new music I find as both truthful art and an escape from the wall of noise around us.
I believe that this next question will fit into the ideas here, so tell us how did Brave New World and The Perennial Philosophy by Huxley influence your own thoughts about this world of fake and virtual things that we inhabit in Modernity?
Huxley fit into what Plato had expressed: that what we think of as “reality” is in fact effect, not cause. Elsewhere there is a cause which has a larger informational footprint, which means that our world is not the dominant place with a supernatural aspect tacked on, but that there is an informational reality which encloses this physical one, despite the appearance of it having exactly the opposite case. Kant turned me on to this with the concept of the perceptual filter, namely that our brains assemble a reality that works for us in immediate concerns – the four Fs: fighting, food, fleeing and reproduction – but we have to climb out of Plato’s cave and rediscover what is actually true. Logically, our world cannot be the source of order and pattern and structure in the universe, therefore there is an undeniable “bigger” world out there that is the source of this one.
Where Huxley got interesting was that he expressed how the above – that our view of the world is inverted, since we assume that what is closest to us is the source of everything that can be, when in fact we are at the end of a causal chain and not its source – appears in both politics and philosophy. In philosophy, we end up with materialism; in politics, we end up with individualism, which is where individuals pursue their own desires and make a hell on earth as a result. The society he described in Brave New World is how empires fall; most people do not realize that he wrote that book in 1932, and blamed We The People for the downfall of the West, which so outraged Socialist George Orwell that he wrote his own book in 1948, exonerating We The People and blaming dictatorship instead. Orwell’s book made perfect postwar propaganda against both Hitler and Stalin, so it was selected to be a classic.
When one digs deeply into Huxley, one finds Perennialism at the core of everything he writes. The essence of Perennialism is a type of anti-fundamentalism: we recognize that there is one reality and many descriptions of it called religions, but that when placed in the hands of masters, most religions converge on the same approximate truth, which means that we can use this general idea – or a set of ideas, really – as the basis for metaphysical exploration, and thus escape any specific “tradition” into the idea of Tradition itself. This leads right into Evola and then straight back into Plato. Philosophy is sort of like a rollercoaster that way.
Recently, I watched as Mike Pence was roundly harassed on Twitter after pointing out how he and his wife try to maintain purity in their marriage. I could not help but think of Brave New World in this regard. We have truly reached the point in our history where our society is utterly flipped in terms of morality. Having spent decades tracking the path of humanity and philosophy, does this reversal of morality surprise you?
We live in inverted times. The ego, voracious as always, seeks to assert itself as the cause and goal of all that exists; this naturally clashes with reality, which is based on the interaction between objects for informational and not material objectives. Actual love and marriage require partial sacrifice of the self, much like love of race, country or God/gods does, and so these are taboo and anathema to the Left. The Left panics when these things arise because the Leftist argument is based on its way being superior, and so if someone else succeeds doing something un-Lefty, then Leftism is invalidated, and worst of all this happens in the eyes of Leftists. To Leftists, a man in love with his wife and trying to lead a moral life is thus a threat.
Does this surprise me? No: I have seen for decades now how the unmoored ego is like a cosmic black hole that sucks in everything around it, forbidding light from escaping. Individualism is the source of the mob (sometimes called herd or Crowd) because when selfish people join together, they use their numbers as force and do so in a formless, ahierarchical group for the express purpose of having no responsibility, accountability and skin in the game. Their goal is to use what others have for themselves. This is the paradox of Crowds; they seem like they are a group activity, but really, they are many self-centered people using each other as an attack vector on the good, normal, decent, healthy, beautiful, honest, reverent, natural, logical, actual/realistic (“true”) and thriving. The selfish ego does not want to adapt to external reality because it wants to be king alone, and that requires deprecating reality to second place as less important than the ego, a condition we call “solipsism.” In the grips of this insane pathology, there is no way the Left can do anything but what they do, which is act out an impulse to destroy while justifying it with platitudes about peace, love, unity, pacifism, tolerance, respect, universality and friendship. This is how they are, and it manifests exactly the same way in the French Revolution as in the Russian Revolution, and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and execution of Socrates, just as in everyday events such as mass panics, trends, fads, manias and obsessions.
Pence just walked into their crosshairs by trying to be a decent fellow, and they hate him anyway because he dislikes homosexuality. I understand his concern; homosexuality, like promiscuity and other illogical sexual behaviors, is linked to perversion and its public appearance is not a good sign. The best way to handle it is a two-way type of tolerance where homosexuals except that heterosexuals are repulsed by homosexuality and never want to see it or hear of it, and heterosexuals accept that homosexuals are produced by nature – whether as genetic errors, as seems partially true from their higher mortality, or as a support staff without the burden of child-rearing – and so need a place, although not necessarily in the focus of the mainstream. The Left tries to legitimize homosexuality because they believe it is perversity and thus can be used as a weapon against normal sexuality.
This is tangential, but it makes sense to mention the concept of sexual economics here. Sex and love like any other market represent a competition, with some achieving the ideal and most others getting something not-quite-ideal and then rationalizing that as best they can. We know that the ideal is the nuclear family and undying love, which Pence seems to have or at least strive for, because it provides the most pleasure for the individual over the longest period of time. It also avoids the great misery of divorce, loneliness and emotional alienation. Pence naturally outrages those who have lost in the sexual economy. This is why the people criticizing him are generally obese, living in dingy city apartments, working do-nothing perpetual entry level jobs, covered in tattoos and blue hair, promiscuous and yet “unlucky in love” – funny how those two usually seem to pair up – a condition which they rationalize as ideal. If Pence has a happy marriage, that interrupts their ability to rationalize and makes them enraged, which is why they attack with shrill noises and gnashing of teeth. Leftists are Orcs and Goblins.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is death. To me, I see this dark way as the most accessible. The ‘wide path,’ as it were, which leads us toward the Hive Mind that we see exhibited today all around us. But there is another way. One which leads to Truth rooted in Reality, rather than our human emotions and feelings. Each of us has the ability to discover this way on our own. It is without question that you have discovered it for yourself. How did you come to find this way that does not lead to spiritual death?
When explorers first came to America, they discovered that the Amerinds here – a mixed race population that is mostly Asian in origin, but seems to have early European and Semitic ancestors as well, which makes sense since these were the voyaging tribes of the pre-modern period – smoked Nicotiana Rustica, a primitive type of tobacco. In the way of Western men, they began to cultivate it, and quickly bred it into a more abundant, sweeter-tasting, less potent (most smokers want this and have always wanted this, just like most people secretly prefer 3.2% beer) variety known as Virginia tobacco. One day in the late 1860s, a farmer noticed that he had a Virginia plant that had changed to be more like the Rustica plants. It was stronger, less sweet, and more abundant. In other words, it was like the Rustica, but having taken advantage of the new traits of the Virginia tobacco. This new type of leaf, Burley, was referred to as “an atavism of Virginia” because it brought forth the old traits in a new form. I am an atavism of modern man, and always have been; I was wired this way, but after spending a number of hours in the forest long ago, came to realize that the world is composed of patterns that manifest in material instead of the other way around. This fundamental religiosity and militant realism carried me through early life intact because I always had belief in the possibility of goodness, pleasure, logic and intelligence; no one else believed in such old-fashioned or radical things.
The duality – realism and transcendentalism – continues in me. I see how the two are related but most will find this concept to be alien. They expect people to be religious, or in the vernacular reality-denying, or realist, which in the vernacular means materialist; they cannot accept that the two are the same thing and the vernacular is wrong: a realist sees the world as it is, and in a Darwinian sense attempts to adapt to it, but this is a reactive and not prescriptive path. Realism then requires we figure out not just the methods we use, but where we should direct ourselves, and to what we should aspire, which leads us to transcendentalism, which is essentially the task of understanding the pattern language and structure of nature, so that we figure out what it aspires to, and adapt to that. In transcendentalism, we find the hidden beauty of our reality, and can then aspire to that, but it also shows us that most people are thinking in an inverted way. Appearance is not reality, and is always a trap, because it is inverted through the presence of perspective: we perceive what is closest to us to be the origin of all, when in fact the opposite is true. That knowledge takes us from the wide path to the narrow path.
What did you see in the wilderness that brought to your perceptions the very real fact that all of life is based on patterns?
This is where esotericism comes into play: there was no single incident, nor is there any single aspect I can point to as an argument. Instead, it is a deepening. You start by seeing the woods as scary, an unknown with a will of its own, but then you start to see why things happen as they do. When there are eight bunny rabbits born to a litter, and you see them all survive except the weakest two, you realize that in order to have healthy bunnies, you have to be hard on rabbits, just like you are hard on yourself when you work out or try to master a new instrument or discipline. Then you see how the principle is both utterly consistent and takes on varied forms in different areas. Then other principles emerge, such as how nature expands to fill all spaces, how energy is transferred between parts with little loss, how death brings new life, how patterns are based on repeated shapes which produce unpredictable results, and you see that everything finds a place but that the pattern of these places is regulated by principles like efficiency, completion, replicability, simplicity and balance. This process of learning to see culminates in noticing that nature tends toward beauty and variation; there are hawks for one niche, hummingbirds for another, and just like plants are layered from canopy to ground cover, species all have their place in a hierarchy that is both horizontal and vertical. One could spend a lifetime studying the forest just outside the back door – if you are so lucky – and never grow bored. It is an order of infinite dimension and wisdom.
From this, I realized how to think. Humans think in terms of solid rules and boundaries in which objects have a composite nature, meaning that they are consistent internally and have a will, when in fact every object is a manifestation of some other impulse. For example, rabbits are created by a confluence of food supply, space free from existing rabbits, good places to nest and relative lassitude of predators. The mechanism of their reproduction is known but it requires these forces to be in place, forming a pattern, before rabbits can appear. When one starts thinking along these lines, where a polycausal pattern is required before there can be a singular cause, and so we start seeing the world as a vast structure that consists of a transaction of localized order. There is a feedback loop between the big picture and the smallest detail, and from this, principles of organization are established. The everyday patterns, like the segments of a text file that are tokenized for compression, or the simplest distillation of a fractal, proliferate into a much broader appearance that does not visually reveal its underlying structure. When you start looking for this kind of structure, life becomes a texture of patterns and not a simple, slapstick-style interaction between actors.
You recently told me that, “We are designed to rise, but we can only do this through the spirit we have been given, which is that of a compassionate conqueror.” Modernity defines compassion as wholly different than its true meaning. So what is, then, a ‘compassionate conqueror’?
A compassionate conqueror knows that there is a hierarchy to life, both in the human world and beyond it, and that compassion is to give everything its place and understand its motivation, but to always act to assert the order instead of individual desires. This means that compassion is far different from our currently definition, which we might call “emotional melting,” or a tendency to not just understand another but to give oneself entirely to their quest. This type of self-negation is popular in dying societies because people have no belief in their own civilization and thus themselves, and so are casting around for external meaning that is entirely removed from their origins. In the clear understanding of compassion, it includes denying people their desires when those are out of place according to the order of life. In this sense, a compassionate conqueror subjugates the lesser so that greatness may rise above mediocrity, but does it without rancor or cruelty, merely a sense of clarity about the mission and the order that it supports. Almost no one understands that these days.
Altruism and pity feel good to us as humans. They spark chemical reactions in our brain that we can and do become addicted to, and I believe this addiction has been compounded by the internet, social media, etc., to such a degree that the Hive Mind can no longer tell the difference between compassion for the sake of human civilization and pity for the sake of a dopamine rush. What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe that the internet and social media are a real problem in and of themselves, or merely another catalyst in humanity’s history that drives him to insanity?
Strictly speaking, social media expands frequency of interaction and scope of possible interaction partners, but otherwise is socialization as normal. Facebook is just like your local hipster bar except that you can encounter hipsters worldwide and share warm watery Pabst with them. As a result, it makes sense to view social media as an amplification of what we already have. The fact is, as you have noted, that what is afflicting humanity is a combination of individualism and socializing, with the latter being distinguished by its ability to make the individual important through its assessment in the eyes of others. Thus we must mention Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame, and note that social media democratizes this fame further, so that each user is competing for their five seconds of fame a day. Our fundamental illness is that the clever ego figures out how to manipulate other people into reflecting it in a certain way, and this bolsters the ego because it trusts those others. This create a co-dependency relationship of the type we see commonly throughout human history and across many societies. This reveals to us that the primary human failing is, as seen in The Odyssey and the story of the Garden of Eden, the ego; we mistake ourselves for the world because we are the lens through which we see the world, and when we socialized, we can validate this viewpoint in a group and cause a mob of people dedicated toward illusion. Social media just does this faster.
You’ve described your religious views as ‘perennial’ to myself and in interviews. I am a follower of Christ, the Christian Godhead, and the Biblical narrative. How different would you say that our viewpoints are?
The point of perennialism is that our viewpoints are more similar than different, but that esotericism also applies. That is, religious interpretations are a starting point, and beyond that gateway, the ability of individuals to understand what is going on varies widely. Perennialism says that all religions describe the same world, and should be viewed as witness statement rather than absolute truth, but it does not say that all religions are equal or that every interpretation of a religion is equal. There is one world, and many descriptions of it, and then our interpretations of those descriptions, which means that every person is at a different point on the path to knowledge, and the amount of knowledge they seek varies with how much they already know, and what they can accept. I view my beliefs as compatible with Christianity, but I realize that Christianity is fading out due to its liberalization and the fact that Europeans want a belief system that is not foreign at all. Still, I enjoy the old churches, hymns and rituals and think we should preserve them, even if we re-brand them as pagan temples. I also find the Bible to be a highly useful compendium of spiritual and practical knowledge, much like the Bhagavad-Gita.
Long before Modernity, Plato noted the existence of some kind of informational structure to our reality. As you and I have discussed, the realization of cause and effect leads to the realization that all of reality is pattern. The patterns matter more than the material. The more of particle physics ideas that I discover from a layman’s perspective, the more I can only agree with this. To tie this to the previous question, I believe that nothing in the book of Genesis disagrees with this assessment. The entire ‘Creation story,’ when looked at outside of religiosity, most especially when the original language is utilized to decipher the text, does not deny this but, in fact, upholds these ideas. The pattern was first entropy, and God moved this toward order. Do you feel that the Ancient Texts, not limited to the Bible for this interview, collide with the idea of our universe being pattern? If not, what other examples besides the Bible would you cite?
The Bible, properly understood, is a compilation of Greek, Hindu, Babylonian, Nordic, Jewish and Buddhist thought. In doing so, it references the explicitly pattern-based outlook of these ancient tribes, which in the case of Hindus, Greeks and Nords was something we usually call “transcendental idealism” or “Germanic idealism” in philosophy, which is the idea that:
It nevertheless seems safe to say that within modern philosophy there have been two fundamental conceptions of idealism:
- something mental (the mind, spirit, reason, will) is the ultimate foundation of all reality, or even exhaustive of reality, and
- although the existence of something independent of the mind is conceded, everything that we can know about this mind-independent “reality” is held to be so permeated by the creative, formative, or constructive activities of the mind (of some kind or other) that all claims to knowledge must be considered, in some sense, to be a form of self-knowledge.
Idealism in sense (1) may be called “metaphysical” or “ontological idealism”, while idealism in sense (2) may be called “formal” or “epistemological idealism”. The modern paradigm of idealism in sense (1) might be considered to be George Berkeley’s “immaterialism”, according to which all that exists are ideas and the minds, less than divine or divine, that have them. (Berkeley himself did not use the term “idealism”.) The fountainhead for idealism in sense (2) might be the position that Immanuel Kant asserted (if not clearly in the first edition of his Critique of Pure Reason (1781) then in his Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (1783) and in the “Refutation of Idealism” in the second edition of the Critique) according to which idealism does “not concern the existence of things”, but asserts only that our “modes of representation” of them, above all space and time, are not “determinations that belong to things in themselves” but features of our own minds. Kant called his position “transcendental” and “critical” idealism, and it has also been called “formal” idealism.(https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/idealism/ )
The difference with our ancient forms is that they create a crossover between the two ideas above: they believed that the world operated like thought and idea, or a mind, but did not suggest that this mind was our own; this is a modern conceit. Kant made the clearest statement of this, and then Schopenhauer clarified it with his own analysis, but the basic point is that appearance is not reality, and as Plato tells us, there is a larger causal field at an informational level that is responsible for what we know of as reality.
Is this implied in the Bible? Implicitly so, at least, but like the definition above, it has been simplified to make the individual feel as if they are in control and are the focus of attention. This is a weakness of the distillation of these many chains of thought into the Bible; while it serves as a streamlining and channeling of the ancient knowledge from those many sources, by making it accessible in written form that is designed for mass comprehension, it also invites itself to be misinterpreted. This leads most to understand the Bible as suggesting a “dualistic” worldview where there are two worlds, the physical world and a metaphysical one.
This misses the monism of the ancients that claimed there was only one world but that the physical was a small part of this where the larger ideation manifested in physical form, perhaps as a matter of making it finite (no infinite loops). In my view, the Bible is not explicitly dualistic, but its use of ideas like “heaven” as both an afterlife and a place where angels war suggests a concept that most human minds will interpret as dualism. However, it seems to me that the stories of Job and Jonah are designed to suggest that in this other world, metaphysical and mythic forces are in motion that manifest in physical reality.
The death and resurrection of Jesus seems to me to be the type of more cinematic telling that a cantor might use to convey the idea that “The embodied soul is eternal in existence, indestructible and infinite; only the material body is factually perishable, therefore fight O Arjuna” (Bhagavad-Gita 2:18). The two main ideas we might take from that chapter are first that ideas are more important than matter, so it is important above all else for us to work to establish a pattern which is logical and transcendental in ourselves and in civilization, and second, that when we concern ourselves with death, we should realize that we as physical beings are manifestation of something more complex elsewhere. The fearlessness of Jesus facing the executioners and his return were designed as a visual representation of this idea, but I prefer the Hindu version because it combines the individual and civilization into one task, which is a fight for order and beauty.
Let’s move toward the political. To put the question in as blunt terms as possible, do you feel that President Donald Trump has a purpose for America? Even if he is no more than a bull in a corrupt D.C. china shop?
Slavoj Zizek called this one: Trump, like Reagan and the founding fathers of the United States, was really a centrist liberal which in these Leftist times we would call a “moderate” (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/28/slavoj-zizek-donald-trump-is-really-a-centrist-liberal ). Trump likes making things work and idolizes Reagan and Kennedy, and so one can expect him to want a fiscally strong United States, to defeat foreign threats, and to re-assert social conservative values as a pragmatic hedge against the disasters brought on by the 1960s (briefly: divorce, libertinism, dropped reproduction rate, class warfare, ethnic conflict). His economic sanity and social conservative outlook will make him look “fascist” to liberals, and his lack of concern about affirmative action and social welfare programs will make him look Communist to traditional conservatives.
Even his opinions on Muslim immigration and sealing the borders are a mixture of pragmatism and business sense; we are flooding the labor pool and importing people who have different genetics and thus behaviors than us, which includes many acts that we consider to be violent crime but are common activities in the third world societies from which they originate. What we are seeing here is a conflict between pragmatists, ideologues – of both Left and Right – and realists. Trump is a pragmatist, which is a nice shift away from a Leftist ideologue like Barack Obama, but he is thankfully not a Rightist ideologue of the National Socialist or fundamentalist Christian variety, because both of those groups are crazy too.
However, where he falls short is that he is not a realist. A realist recognizes that the line between individual and civilization is thin, and that we individuals depend on a functional civilization entirely, so allowing ours to slide into the known pattern of decline and fall is pointless. With the arrival of democracy in the West, it was clear that we had entered the final stage; now the question is how to rebirth this civilization from within by taking the people who understand this need and how to make a functional civilization, and having them seize power and drive off the crazies. Trump is a small step to this; he is reversing the crazy mad dash toward full Communism that voters will pathologically pursue when given the chance, and leaving it to future realists to actually fix the problem of civilization decline from which all our other “issues” and “problems” emerge as mere symptoms.
We are currently seeing sedition, collusion, and traitorous acts by those defiant of Trump. For the most part, this seems a necessary revelation if America is ever going to rebuild itself—the Evil must be drawn out, defined, and shown to be what it is, despite that this causes much anxiety for John and Jane Q. Public. Many a Trump supporter believes that he himself will correct America’s course. Do you feel he can do such a thing?
If I had a wishlist for Trump, it would be that he would un-do the liberal social programs of the New Deal/Great Society variety and then remove civil rights law based on the obligation of the majority to subsidize minorities, including the civil rights act, Hart-Celler immigration act, affirmative action and agencies like the HUD which enforce diversity. Many hope he will do this through a libertarian-style dissolution of socialist programs of wealth transfer in general, and instead restore autonomy of the individual and freedom of association; this is one path that would be excellent and lead to further peeling back of dysfunctional liberal ideas. The real problem is that in both the EU and US, voters love their benefits, and they will always vote for these and let the next generation figure out how to pay for them, which is why governments in Europe and America are bankrupt and depending on imported third world labor to generate enough income and taxes to pay for these expanded pension and union-style programs.
Any steps he takes toward unraveling this system are great, but the real problem is that the system itself is the voters, and voters always prefer pleasant fictions to hard realities and so will adopt any loony socialist-style programs possible, which delights government as it allows it to grow and increase its power. We have to get out of this cycle, and the real opposition is in the voters, who are “conservatives” who like to make themselves look good to their friends by preaching lifting weights, working hard, going to church, being good family men and paying all those fat government taxes, but will never tackle the politically and socially difficult hard truths like the fact that socialism, diversity and all egalitarian programs not only do not work, but are parasitic and accelerate civilization decline.
When I talk about the necessity of overthrow and physical removal, the point is that the voters are what must be overthrown; government is a creation of their greed, solipsism, pretense and illogicality. No one wants to hear this because everyone wants to believe he is good and surrounded by good people, but what made Europe great was that we were not accepting of everyone and in fact were zealous about pushing out bad people. The future for Leftists involves physical removal per Hans-Herman Hoppe, although my version consists of putting them on cruise ships and sending them one-way to Brazil or North Africa.
What would you suggest are the major issues that America must admit to and face before any restoration is possible?
That humanism has failed: people are not good, and if we assume that we are good, we stop improving ourselves internally – a qualitative matter of adaptation, like Darwinism plus the way we improve our performance in sports or intellectual tasks through greater mental focus and organization – and thus turn into obese, bratty, selfish, greedy, pretentious, controlling, manipulative, dramatic, petty, passive-aggressive and angry people. We left behind Darwinian adaptation when our society became wealthy and it has crushed us from within, which apparently no one expected.
The changes we need are not all that radical, in a historical context. For the last thousand years or so, we have been piling layers of dysfunction on a type of civilization that worked, so we have to go back to that structure: aristocracy, caste, nationalism/culture-rule and some sense of purpose, which includes but is not limited to transcendental ideation leading to metaphysical concepts. We have to peel back the layers of the onion and discover the working core of civilization at the center, and then implement that. Yes, we will have to repatriate Others and deport Leftists and criminals, but that is the smallest part of the matter and is an act of compassion in itself. I favor repatriation with reparations, so that we can part friends with those who have lived among us.
Plato writes of a civilization cycle where societies begin with forward moving cognition, or acting toward excellence in all things, and then invert that because of infighting, such that the assume that whatever is profitable/popular must be excellent and in so doing, destroy the meaning of excellence. The final step in this cycle is tyranny, which Plato notes always comes out of democracy. What we are seeing now is what Paul Woodruff identified as tyranny: it is not a method, but a duplicate purpose, where the tyrant in public acts toward pleasant-sounding things, and in private moves toward profit and power for himself at the expense of others. Voters fit this pattern; we the People are the tyrant, and we need to be deposed.
Do you believe that before all is said and done, America will find more bloodshed in its streets? Revolution is the last thing that we need, in the sense of the term itself, but do you still believe that Civil War 2.0 will occur?
One way or another. Right now we are still in the “libertarian” stage that Plato identified, where the productive people are trying to get away from the drones using laws and economics. This will not work, obviously, because the herd will steal anything it can; the desire for people to simply run away to the suburbs, keep paying taxes to this Communist-lite government and hoping for the best is in fact the path to doom.
There will be less bloodshed now if we arrange a military coup or civil war based not on secession but domination of the coasts; at this point, if the American heartland cut off the blue areas from wealth and then attacked, they could drive the seething horde of Leftists from the country and start peeling that onion. If we do not do that, there will be bloodshed as this system continues to break down and our politicians do nothing but laugh at it, because they know that in democracy, those who try to solve hard problems are sacrificed first.
What do the sane then do when faced with this reality?
There is only one thing to do: find a place of stability, and then counter-attack. There is no escape from a dying civilization and the only way to fix it is to point it in a different direction and then remove all of those who favor the old direction. If we do not do this, our descendants are doomed and all that we work for will disappear in the winds of corruption, ineptitude and chaos that dying civilizations bring.
Fight! We need to unify most of the 5% of our population who are the natural leaders who do all of the hard thinking work. When that happens, the illusion of democracy as “good” will perish and we can move on to something functional, and from that point, begin the process of rebirthing Western Civilization. But this is war, and it is inherently extremist, since the old “middle class way” of just trying to escape to the suburbs has failed and will fail more violently in the future.
Brett, again, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I hope that you have enjoyed them as well.
It has been a blast! Thank you for sending them and our ongoing dialogue.
Brett Stevens writes on the topics of nihilism, deep ecology, nationalism and anti-work. He opposes diversity in all of its forms, including racism and anti-Semitism, and favors a society ruled by aristocrats, organized around hierarchy, oriented toward transcendental and realistic purpose, and ruled by culture which requires extreme nationalism. He has been published at American Renaissance, AltRight, Alternative Right, Return Of Kings, Nihil and the blog where he serves as editor, Amerika.org. Check out his book, Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness And Eternity, on Amazon.com. We dare you. You’ll be challenged.